The Sensex on Wednesday plunged 181 points due to concerns over trade deficit that ballooned to an almost 3-year high. Lacklustre earnings by some blue-chip companies, decline in industrial production index and the rise in inflation also worried investors.
“Markets are pricing in the potential for a fiscal deficit target being pushed higher, with recent data showing pressures from both weak exports as well as high oil prices,” said Anand James, chief market strategist, Geojit Financial Services.
After starting on a positive note, the Sensex settled at an over three-week low of 32,760.44, down 181.43 points, or 0.55 per cent. The loss for the Sensex read 372.69 points over the previous two sessions. The NSE Nifty was down by 68.55 points, or 0.67 per cent, at 10,118.05. Intra-day, it moved between 10,175.45 and 10,094.
A subdued trend in Asia and a lower opening in Europe, tracking a fall in oil prices and doubts over US tax reforms, kept spirits low.
Wednesday’s decline in the benchmarks left investors poorer by Rs 1.55 lakh crore at Rs 141.73 lakh crore.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) picked up shares worth a net Rs 2,576.98 crore on Tuesday, provisional data showed. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 1.30 crore.
From the Sensex lot, Sun Pharma turned red the most — sinking 4.01 per cent, after the pharma major on Wednesday reported a big drop in consolidated net profit. Other losers included ONGC, Bharti Airtel, NTPC, Lupin and ITC.
Much of the damage came from the metal index, which fell 3.04 per cent. Telecom, realty, power and consumer durables were the other losers in the sectoral space.